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Have you ever heard about Biotechnology ? (EN)

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   Biotechnology is the application of science and technology at the same time to living organisms modifying them in order to have a product wanted in industry or to do scientific research to increase human knowledge.



We have modern and traditional biotechnology. For traditional biotechnology biological processes were used without theoretical knowledge such as cheese production and beer (they knew that putting milk with an acid substance gives the curd but they did not know how curd was formed), while modern biotechnology is used to distinguish the most recent applications of biotechnology, such as genetic engineering and cell fusion, from more traditional methods.

Biotechnology is divided into 5 domains and each field represents a color: Red biotechnology, white, blue, green and yellow.




Let's start with green Biotechnology or vegetable Biotechnology that interests agriculture, livestock and agri-food. As an example we have the genetic modification of plants to improve their taste, their color and their yield.


They help to improve and conserve products and contribute to the resistance of plants to insects, which makes the use of pesticides unnecessary and is a potential solution to provide food for the growing world population (9 billion in a few years) .







Secondly, we have white Biotechnologie or also called industrial biotechnology are technologies using biological material (prokaryotic cells as bacteria, eukaryotic cells such as microalgae, yeasts or animal cells, free enzymes or fixed on support).




They are used for the production of molecules of interest on a large scale (high quantity) by cell culture of microorganisms in bioreactors or fermenters (huge tank whose temperature, pressure, ph and other parameters are controlled according to the ideal conditions for metabolism (functioning) of organisms or enzymes).  






They use biological systems using enzymatic or fermentative processes for the manufacture, transformation or degradation of molecules. This with the aim of producing compounds from renewable raw materials which may be waste or not (of living origin) and which are used as substrate (raw material) or culture medium consumed for growth of organisms and synthesis desired products (recovery of waste).



.They have several advantages related to industrial processes and affect many sectors:  agricultural such as the production of biofuel from agricultural waste and wastewater, , pharmaceutical products such as the production of food supplements,cosmetic, chemical etc.

Indeed, white biotechnologies bring optimization of the manufacturing process while preserving the environment through the reduction of the use and the rejections of the raw materials. White biotechnologies bring hope for sustainable development and a clean industry.  




 Thirdly there is the Yellow Biotechnology ,or also called environmental biotechnology uses the innovations of biotechnology and microbiology to bring solutions related to the pollution of our planet.




The environment is our future and micro-organisms, especially bacteria, have amazing pollution treatment capabilities to preserve ecosystems, for which we can use the principle of bio-remediation (Treatment of water, soil and water). air polluted by biological agents) as the extraction of toxic metals from the soil by specific plants.





Fourth, we move to the Blue Biotechnology or Marine Biotechnology, which refers to the exploration and exploitation of the many marine organisms that result, in order to design new products.


Materials compatible with food or cosmetic uses can thus be produced based on algae derivatives. Active ingredients from oysters seem to have an effect on the slowing down of skin aging. It is also possible to manufacture biofuels from algae or, more precisely, from triglycerides contained in algae.




And finally we have the Red Biotechnologie or medical Biotechnology, it concerns the field of health of the drug, diagnosis, tissue engineering as well as the development of genetic or molecular processes with a therapeutic purpose.






Through them, researchers discover, produce and / or test all kinds of new treatments. Thus, for example, organisms are specifically designed to produce antibiotics and, through manipulations of the genetic material of a species, researchers develop what they call gene therapies and in addition to this therapy one has cell therapy to treat or replace damaged or diseased tissue.




Beyond treating patients, biotechnology also promises to be able to better diagnose diseases, using microarrays or the use of nano-biotechnology for the treatment of cancer, they allow tumor typing by example or biosensors.


Biotechnology is a fascinating world. Thanks to them, we improve our quality of life, for example by arming ourselves better against certain diseases. They nevertheless raise ethical questions because they affect the manipulation of the living.

 Zahra .G Dean and Aspirant of the LRS project




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